A Miami-Dade circuit judge has approved a private adoption allowing three people — a gay man and a married lesbian couple — to be listed on the birth certificate of their 23-month-old daughter.This is a victory for LGBT parents, monogamous or polyamorous, and polyamorous parents in general.
“We’re creating entirely new concepts of families. If you have two women seeking to be listed as Parent One and Parent Two, that does not exclude listing a man as father,” said Miami family lawyer Karyn J. Begin, who represented dad Massimiliano “Massimo” Gerina in a two-year paternity case involving lesbian friends who had his baby.
While this is a defeat for this lesbian couple, it is a general victory for LGBT rights (as well as the rights of anyone seeking donated sperm or eggs), because it will allow couples who do want a third parent involved to have that involvement. But it does require that the parents agree ahead of time what the arrangement will be. Nobody should donate or accept donated eggs or sperm without a legal agreement as to whether the donor will be an active parent or just a donor.
On only a verbal agreement, Gerina gave the women his sperm and Italiano conceived. The lesbians planned for Filippazzo to later adopt the baby and they would both raise the child.
Florida law specifies that sperm donors have no legal rights in artificial inseminations. Thus the hitch: Gerina says he considered himself a parent, not simply a donor. The women, he claimed, “wanted a father for the baby, not just the sperm.”The important thing that makes this a victory for polyamorous parents, LGBT parent couples, and anyone who donates or receives egg or sperm donations is that it allows for three parents, if that is desired.
Two weeks after insemination, Italiano learned she was pregnant. About seven months later, the women called Gerina and asked him to sign a contract.
“When they gave me the paper to sign that I had to give up all my rights to the baby, I didn’t,” he said.
Gerina began to ponder the legal consequences of siring a child. He hired Begin and presented the women with papers of his own.
“My papers said I would have parental rights, a visitation schedule,” he said. “They hated it. They said this wasn’t what they wanted. I said, ‘Now that you’re already pregnant, you should have thought about that before.’ ”